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This Must Be The Place: UW Field House

Something has been changed in my life. Something must be returned to us

Northwestern Wildcats v Wisconsin Badgers
This view is currently under construction
Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Wisconsin Badgers home games draw over half a million in attendance each year. But, are those places any good? Let me tell you what to think about the places Badger fans call “home.” Am I one of those human beings? Well, I can laugh or I can learn to think. So help me now to find out what to feel about the UW Field House.

It’s Always Showtime, Here At The Edge Of The Stage

Location UW Field House
Location UW Field House
Date Opened 1930
Address 1450 Monroe Street
Sports Volleyball and Wrestling
Named For The University of Wisconsin
Capacity 7052
Best Bar Nearby Library Bar

Getting In

In 2018, the Field House’s upper deck was brought to code and another 1000 seats opened up. Kelly Sheffield has reinvigorated the Badger fanbase to the point where it’s tough to get into the Field House if you didn’t plan ahead. I’ve seen tickets on Stubhub. Yes, they were way more expensive than the $7 general admission seats. It’s not impossible to buy them from the box office, but I’d say pick the games you want to go to and buy them months early.

But, if you have the tickets already, there’s really not much hassle getting through the gates. Depending on your mood, you can hang out on Monroe or Regent pre or post-game, or if you’re a complete cheapskate (hello!) just concentrate on finding a spot to park west of Breese. No one makes a monkey out of me!

Wrestling is on the up-and-up, but based on attendance numbers the upper level is strictly optional.


Concessions are closer to LaBahn than the Kohl Center. There’s nothing really special to mention, just that the north and south ends have stands. It’s fine! You can get a pretzel or a soda. If you were really smart, you’d know what to do: sneak Greenbush donuts in.


When the doors open, there are faces pressed against the window: hey, they are just my friends trying to score front row seats. Volleyball has some reserved seating on the lower east and west sides, but that means general admission in the corners, ends and upper level.


With a road football opener for 2019, the first Badger game I saw was at the Field House. I realized it’s not yesterday anymore when I heard new songs from the pep band - Crazy Train and Jimi Hendrix’s Fire, if my ear is worth a damn. When opposing liberos serve, the ‘SIEVE. SIEVE. SIEVE.’ chant echoes throughout.

Most importantly, is that a woman’s voice I hear? POINT, WISCONSIN!


One of the unique parts of volleyball compared to the other most other college team sports is that there’s no clock. Like baseball, you need to put the ball in play to win. With the first to 25, best-of-five setup, everyone knows when it’s time to get loud. The band plays the fans up, everyone’s tense and nervous, can’t relax. Will this be the spike that becomes a kill? Couldn’t get anything on an out-of-system attack and you’ve left yourself at their complete mercy?

I’ve lived and died a thousand times at the end of the third set against Marquette, and I fell all over and I couldn’t stand up. Afterwards a high schooler called me sir. We are vain and we are blind. I hate people when they’re not polite.


The Field House isn’t the oldest place on campus, but it might have the most history. Cassius Clay boxed here, and the Wisconsin boxing program’s multiple national championships hang in the rafters next to wrestling and volleyball’s successes. Men’s and women’s basketball teams played here before the Kohl Center. JFK and Bob Hope delivered speeches. Even with the modern video board in the center, that sense of history is omnipresent. It’s a fantastic space.

Final Review

When modern sport stadiums and arenas continue to churn out Large Metal Places, give me a throwback to something with soul.